Something New when Uninstalling Drivers and Devices on Windows Vista

Hi Buddies,

I'm very glad to meet you every Monday. Today, I'd like to share a background story about a KB article that describes an interesting behavior in Windows Vista that is different with previous OS. Maybe it is not the most important or highest impacted issue that occurs in Windows Vista, but I think it will impact some of you when you are troubleshooting for your friends/family... OK, let's go through this issue.

This issue is about re-installing network adapter in Windows Vista. The KB article for this issue will be KB945399 and published in a few days. The issue can be reproduced in many computer models and you will encounter it when you uninstall a network adapter device using Device Manager. You may have to troubleshoot whether the network adapter driver installed is right to troubleshoot the OS network issue. Therefore, after uninstalling the adapter, you may try to install another driver for the device ... Everything works fine in Windows XP/Server 2003 and so on. However, when you try to do the same action in Windows Vista, the popular OS nowadays, you will see soon after the uninstall process completes, PnP detects the network adapter as a new device and automatically installs the device and drivers. Instead, in Windows XP, only after you click to scan hardware changes, will the PnP detect the network adapter and install the driver.

When I study and reproduce this behavior, I'm also surprised by what I have seen. Yes, it does. Windows Vista will automatically re-install the network adapter driver as if Vista prevents you from uninstalling the driver. Then, when I went through the work flow of install/uninstall the network adapter driver, I noticed that In Vista RTM, Vista re-enumerates the "removal relations" of the uninstalled device. During re-enumeration if the resource-assignment changes, the system re-enumerates the entire tree and the uninstalled device is treated as a new-device-arrival and gets installed again...

I don't know whether this difference will be good to the normal user, but I think it will confuse technical guys a little, especially when they do not know this behavior. So what shall we do? Disable the device and uninstall the device, or remove related INF files? Everything seems to show that this behavior changes the results and confuses us. Now the good news, a fix will be released through KB945399 in a few days and it will be merged into Vista SP1. 🙂

By the way, there is another document for "Uninstalling Drivers and Devices on Windows Vista", please take it as your reference.

Cristy Mu
I will be very glad to hear your voice:-)

*This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.*

Comments (6)

  1. boe says:

    I was reading the article up until I got to "Windows Vista, the popular OS nowadays" –  then I didn’t know wether to take the article seriously or not.

    I don’t know anyone who is in the IT world who thinks Vista is "popular" – actually I don’t know a single IT person who has tried it since it came out or since SP1 RC came out who takes Vista seriously.   Anything that slows down old and new hardware alike has no value.   I can run XP in virtual mode on a state of the art PC and I can copy files to and from the server faster, I can copy files and move them on the PC’s hard drive faster, I can play video games faster – in XP I don’t have a reminder coming up every time I boot that I’ve turned off the annoying UAC.   Tell me again what I gain from Vista?

  2. Brian Knoblauch says:

    That’s good information.  I’m just starting to run across my first couple of Vista machines and they seem to have lots of problems talking to Windows 2003 networks.  Good to know what kind of behaviours I’ll run across during troubleshooting.

  3. Iouri says:

    "Anything that slows down old and new hardware alike has no value. "

    I highly disagree with that, either you can stay with XP, (if you have old hardware). OR you can take Vista, As far as I know, Vista can handle CPU’s and RAM better than XP can..

  4. Chris Mu says:

    In fact Vista has so many new features and enhenced security. Just as when XP was released someone refused to use it, instead, he/she uses Windows 2k.

    Anyway, every coin has two sides, so does Vista.

  5. Bernard Lim says:

    With new desktop and notebook computers pre-loaded with Windows Vista, Vista is becoming the "popular OS nowadays"

Skip to main content